A test run for vaccinating schoolchildren against coronavirus will be held today at Colonel Maleque Medical College Hospital in Manikganj.
“We’ll start a test run for the schoolchildren vaccination at Colonel Maleque Medical College Hospital in Maniganj at 12noon on Thursday,” Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told a virtual briefing on Wednesday. He said the test run of the vaccination will be carried out among students of two government educational institutions whose ages are between 12 and 17.
"We run a test before giving any vaccine (in mass scale) and then start the final run by observing the results. This time we have chosen Manikganj for a technical reason," he added.
He said they will observe the vaccine recipients for next 10-14 days to identify any side effects. Later, the vaccination campaign (for students) will begin on a larger scale in Dhaka.
According to the DGHS, the Pfizer vaccine will be provided in 19 districts where vaccines were sent on Monday. Health workers concerned have already been trained. Apart from these districts, there will be eight centres in the capital.
Initially, the districts where Pfizer will be provided are Bhola, Jhalakathi, Barishal, Chattogram, Cumilla, Chandpur, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Tangail, Satkhira, Jashore, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet Sunamganj and Habiganj.
Of these, vaccines will be given at four centres in Chattogram, eight in Rajshahi, two in Noakhali, two in Chandpur, three in Narsingdi and two in Mymensingh.
Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam earlier on Tuesday said, “We’ll use Pfizer vaccine for this. We have big plan in this regard. We’ve fixed 21 vaccination centres across the country, where this (Pfizer) vaccine can be preserved, for the drive.”
He said the vaccination programme for schoolchildren will be conducted as per lists of children provided by the school authorities. “We’ll pass the lists on to the Surokkha app server afterwards for completing the registration process," he said.
Mentioning that separate vaccination centres will be set up at district and city corporation levels for the vaccination drive for students, the DGHS chief said it is not possible to inoculate children everywhere as there is no adequate facility to preserve the Pfizer vaccine all over the country.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque at a press conference on Sunday said, “We have now a stock of 60 lakh doses of Pfizer vaccine which will be given to 30 lakh students. Another 70 lakh doses will arrive this month. There will be no shortage of vaccine for children.”